New York Times investigation exposes dangers in U.S. mobile phone user location data

On December 19th, local time, the New York Times published an investigation report that said it had obtained the largest and most sensitive data ever recorded. The data stores more than 50 billion locations for 12 million mobile phone users in Washington, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The New York Times said the data was not from telecommunications companies and governments, but from a location data company. The report questions whether location data collection is approved by users, whether it can be “anonymized” and whether the data is secured.

New York Times investigation exposes dangers in U.S. mobile phone user location data

New York Times Productions User Locations in the Pentagon

New York Times investigation exposes dangers in U.S. mobile phone user location data

New York Times Productions User Locations in the White House

As an example, the team accurately identified members of the public, including officers involved in national security information, through the location of individual cell phones in the database, and could exchange communications with other phones through the cell phone, outlining all the behavior of cell phone users on the day of the day within the scope of the database.

Reported that in the absence of legal privacy use provisions, the current location data industry relies heavily on self-monitoring, which also poses a huge risk to how the data is used.

In addition, the New York Times says its access to such a vast database has confirmed that so-called “security” is just the case for data companies.

Carriers such as Atthe and T and Verizon have been selling location data for years, and data can be shared once it is sold, the survey said. When shared, there will be a specific person who may find a specific phone in real time. The ensuing scandal forced the US telecoms giant to pledge not to sell location data, but until us law did not prohibit similar practices.

The report recommends stopping sharing location information with apps on your phone and restricting ad tracking on devices to prevent search engines from storing users’ locations. Even so, technology companies are trying to locate users by various means, even by phone models, IP addresses, screen size brightness, and volume. In addition, telcos will continue to obtain location information for each data exchange (Ping).

Reported that the United States hopes to pass legislation on this as soon as possible, in order to avoid the misuse of location data.

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